The “New Normal” for COVID-Era Businesses by Marketing Executive Scott O Hirsch

June 04 06:01 2020

Digital marketing executive Scott O Hirsch discusses how businesses are changing business models to meet consumer demand in the COVID-19 era.

As a business leader, you might be hesitant to adopt an abrupt change in your business model over COVID-19. We were taught to be careful and methodical in our business strategies, to weigh every pro and con before adapting anything that can hurt our bottom line. But here’s the thing – your bottom line already is hurt and you can’t sit idle while finding the perfect solution. You have to find your “new normal” immediately by letting the consumer guide your daily operations.

For example, a vast majority of brick and mortar retailers now offer curbside delivery. Auto dealerships are offering to pick up their customers for test drives in their own neighborhood. Everyone from barbers to lawyers to accountants go directly to their customers’ doorstep and many are charging a premium for more personalized services. Maybe it’s not ideal, but their businesses are surviving and in some cases thriving… all because they made changes early.

Everyone talks about the “new normal” like it’s a static thing, but that probably won’t be the case for a number of years. The long-term solution for your business likely isn’t a single thing during this transition period but a number of changes to meet consumer demand. Maybe you will have to market your brand in an entirely new way and maybe your team will have to take some unconventional approaches to reach customers. It’s important to remember that this isn’t different from when you first started your company – you simply need new methods for connecting with customers and driving revenues.

What would that process look like? If you’re a product-based business, you need to shorten your supply chain to get products in the hands of consumers as quickly as possible. That means direct to consumer sales online through your website, Amazon, and Facebook. It also means reaching out to your customers directly (by phone, email, and social) so they understand these changes and how it impacts their ability to shop. Also, ask for feedback from consumers and take it to heart…your loyal customers are happy to guide you to solutions that work for everyone.

Service-based businesses have it a little harder since you’ll have to reinvent your word of mouth marketing, but it’s essentially the same steps in reaching out to customers and adapting to how their needs can be fulfilled. In both cases, the key is defining your new normal and getting it out to the masses through traditional channels and new digital marketing campaigns.

The good news in all of this is that your direct competitors are facing the exact same obstacles you are. The companies that are coming out on top are the ones that embrace a new normal and get in front of their consumers the fastest – it’s literally a level playing field for small business and Fortune 500’s alike. The main point to remember is that agile brands who take proactive steps to meet consumer demand have a chance to come out of this pandemic better than they went into it, and the time to make those changes is right now.

Scott O. Hirsch is an Internet Marketing Pioneer and CEO of Media Direct, one of the nation’s largest data-driven digital marketing agencies. Across his 25+ year career, he’s pioneered many of today’s most important digital marketing concepts including email marketing and display advertising. Scott is a regular contributor to Forbes, CEO World Magazine and countless other publications.

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